Portuguese health-tech startup SWORD Health, a company that provides virtual therapy for musculoskeletal conditions, announced that it has raised €145M in its series D round of funding. With total fundings of $320M and the current round valued at $1.8B, Sword Health has earned the ‘Unicorn’ status.
The round was led by Sapphire Ventures along with the participation of new investors Sozo Ventures, Willoughby Capital, ADQ and Localglobe.
The company lets patients take their therapy at home, boosting adherence and generating optimal therapeutic results. It is one of several startups touting the possibility of reimagining physical therapy in a virtual world. In musculoskeletal conditions such as neck or shoulder pain, it uses motion-tracking technology in combination with treatment plans from accredited doctors or physical therapists.
“SWORD Health’s approach to resolving MSK disorders is truly differentiated. Their unique PT + Digital Therapist model, which includes an FDA listed device, has gained significant market acceptance evidenced by their 12x customer growth,” said Rajeev Dham, Partner at Sapphire Ventures.
Helping patients with MSK
According to the World Health Organization, MSK conditions affect about 1.7 billion people worldwide, making them the leading cause of disability, with lower back pain being its single greatest contributor. These conditions are commonly associated with depression and other health issues.
SWORD Health’s products help patients with MSK with end-to-end clinical solutions.
“I started SWORD after a traumatic personal experience where I saw first-hand the challenges that families face when they have to recover a loved one. With this new funding, we will accelerate our value creation for members, self-insured employers, and health plans, as we continue to build the flagship digital MSK solution in the healthcare world, everywhere and for everyone,” shared Virgilio Bento, founder and CEO of SWORD Health.
An article published in Nature Scientific Reports in July 2018 tracked the recovery of two groups of patients after they suffered knee injuries. SWORD’s program was followed by half of them, and the other half followed traditional therapy. The Timed Up and Go Test, recommended by the CDC, was used to assess their recovery.
As compared to the conventional physical therapy group, the group following SWORD’s regime improved twice as much. As a result of the ease of use, patients who were treated at home had a longer active treatment time.